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General : Outside the Box: Open PvP

Posted Mar 13, 2006 by Dana Massey

It's Monday. That means a new column from Nathan Knaack. In this week's "Outside the Box", Nathan looks at the concept of open player vs. player combat in MMORPGs.

From Chutes and Ladders to the latest MMORPGs, games are based on rules, quite often strict guidelines of behavior what qualify participation as acceptable or not. Abstract games tend to have rules just as off-the-wall, but any game that at least attempts a vague mimicry of real life usually includes rules to that end. Aside from a few notable exceptions (like Puzzle Pirates or There), most MMORPGs try to incorporate real world physics and social interactions whenever possible; some have even tried to get as close to real life as possible, like in World War II Online, where 99% of all shots are one-hit kills. Most modern MMORPGs fall somewhere in between though, with a mix a bit more weighted towards real life. You fall when you step off a cliff, just as shopkeepers won’t trade with you while you’re attacking them. While these basic rules make for an interesting environment, they cannot hope to accommodate (perhaps “baby-sit” would be a more accurate term) every possible player or playing style. For every honest role-player out to enjoy the game, there are two or three sleazy power-grinders out to exploit bugs for any advantage they can get.

You can read Nathan's latest here.

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